Blogs & Opinion

Bumble remembers Tony Greig and Christopher Martin-Jenkins as unique characters

Features - David Lloyd Posted 3rd January 2013 view comments

Happy New Year everybody and I hope you all had a good Christmas.

I'm glad to report that Vipers was absolutely thrilled with the piece of skirting board I got her as a present; you should have seen the surprise on her face.

I also got her some new ladders, which are great because they're collapsible. She can extend them herself and it's not necessary for me to help any more...

Greig: loved his wine, says Bumble

Greig: loved his wine, says Bumble

I must admit I've been rather cut off from things over the last couple of weeks. We went away to Yorkshire to decorate the house we've bought and soon discovered there doesn't seem to be any mobile phone signal in that part of the world. I'm hoping they might catch up soon.

So over Christmas we had no phone, no internet, no Twitter, no telly... it was marvellous! All we had were two chairs and some classical music on the radio.

As commentators they were both AAA+, although at different ends of the spectrum. One was very traditional and old school, while Greigy was one of the vibrant new breed who got things across in his own way.

Quotes of the week

We went to one of the local pubs for New Year for a nice dinner. As we were leaving we shook hands with the locals to wish them all the best in 2013 and one bloke just said: "Get back to Lancashire".

A very affectionate bunch it seems...

Memories of two great commentators

I was terribly sad to hear the news about Tony Greig and Christopher Martin-Jenkins; two really good pals. The game will be much worse off without the pair of them.

As commentators they were both AAA+, although at different ends of the spectrum. One was very traditional and old school, while Greigy was one of the vibrant new breed who got things across in his own way.

I was with Greigy a few months ago for the t20 World Cup in Sri Lanka. We shared a place together up in Kandy and travelled to games in his sponsored Hyundai. He never really changed from the early 1970s when I first came across him and was fabulous company.

He was an outrageous character and I'll always remember how he was very protective of his own wine! If you went to any sort of party he would take his own bottle of wine - and that was his - nobody else could touch it!

So I found it hilarious when we went out for a very nice dinner as a guest of one of the locals in Kandy last year. As usual, he took his wine and put it down on the table before turning to shake hands with somebody.

While his back was turned, one of the production assistants picked up the bottle and shared it among the guests.

I could see what was happening, but I didn't say anything. I was thinking 'He's going to go flipping mad here' - and sure enough he went totally off his trolley! It was hilarious.

But as I wrote in the Daily Mail, he truly was a pioneer for cricketers. He brought the sport out of the dark ages and was a very important figure for our game.

Then you've got Christopher, the absent-minded professor. He's one of those guys that you couldn't find anybody in the world with a bad word to say about him. He was such an affectionate chap.

He was a fantastic raconteur, a wonderful story-teller and he was simply perfect for Test Match Special. He was right up there with the likes of McGilvaray, Arlott and Johnston in my view.

I know both men had been ill, but it's a premature end for both of them. Terribly sad.

Looking ahead

England play their first match of 2013 next week and - surprise surprise - we've got to play India again.

If you want my tip then pile on 5-0 to England. Pakistan have just beaten India and it seems they are a team in decline. The only thing I would say to temper that is that both sides will be trying out new players on this tour.

In fact, right around the world there seems to be a lot of "resting" going on in one-day international cricket. People seem to be saying this is not that important.

I'm intrigued by the decision to put Ashley Giles in charge of the one-day team and I have no problem with the concept. In fact, I'm pretty open-minded about the idea.

The only proviso I would make is that he needs to be allowed to run things on his own. The media release which announced the split coaching structure gave the impression that Andy Flower would still have the final say, even though he's thousands of miles away.

If that's the case it can't be right. If Giles is allowed to be the international one-day boss then I think that's fine, but the interpretation for a lot of people is that he might have to ring up and ask a few questions.

If he's allowed to get on with things he'll be fine.

India v England, First One-Day International, is live on Sky Sports 1 HD at 8.30am on Friday January 11.

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